Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

High-Fiving

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

High-Fiving

Article excerpt

OAKLAND, Calif. - Sunday's final out was secured in Mark Teixeira's glove, and a giddy line of Yankees fist-bumped and congratulated each other as they exited the O.co Coliseum field.

Sweeping a four-game series from the Athletics had changed the clubhouse vibe, restoring a fair amount of faith to a team that looked lost as this seven-game, two-city swing began.

"Sometimes you wonder, 'Man how [is] this road trip going to be after we just came from home and playing good baseball?' '' Carlos Beltran said after the Yankees' 5-4 win. Now, "you develop a little confidence, you [have] a sense of, 'OK, we're back on track.' And we feel like that."

Brett Gardner's bold baserunning and starter Michael Pineda's improved performance allowed the Yankees (21-22) to finish their trip with a fifth straight win, after dropping the first two games at Arizona.

"Being able to take four out of here, it's huge," said Beltran, whose seventh-inning, RBI double capped a sensational series - batting .500 (9-for-18) with a homer, five doubles and eight RBI.

Tuesday, the Yankees begin a stretch of 12 out of 13 games against AL East opponents, starting with the Blue Jays' visit to the Stadium. And manager Joe Girardi's club finally feels it has some genuine momentum, having won 12 of their past 17 games.

"There was a lot of frustration in our clubhouse," Girardi said of their 9-17 start. "Now, we're getting contributions from a lot of different people and the vibe is a lot better."

Sunday afternoon's push began with Pineda (2-6), who yielded three runs in six innings and ended a personal seven-start winless streak.

Pineda had combined to give up 11 runs over 10 2/3 innings in losing his previous two starts.

And following the right-hander's 5-3 loss last Tuesday at Arizona, pitching coach Larry Rothschild emphasized the rapid need for Pineda to improve out of the set position and to put away hitters in favorable counts. …

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